Hospitals Aim To Boost Patient Satisfaction Scores Under ACA
Hospitals in California and other states are launching new initiatives to boost patient satisfaction under the Affordable Care Act, which links reimbursements to consumer survey scores, HealthyCal reports.
Under the federal health reform law, about $1 billion in Medicare reimbursements nationwide will be tied to how hospitals score on CMS' Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey.
The survey began in 2006 as a tool to compare hospitals but now is used to set payment rates.
It includes 32 questions, such as:
- Before giving you any new medicine, how often did hospital staff describe possible side effects in a way you could understand; and
- During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?
The most recent survey results found that in California hospitals:
- 75% of patients said their nurses communicated well;
- Slightly less than 75% reported having a consistently clean room and bathroom; and
- About 50% said the area around their room was always quiet at night.
All three results were below national averages.
Increasing Patient Satisfaction
To increase their scores on the patient satisfaction survey, California hospitals are:
- Creating new customer-satisfaction positions;
- Changing security protocols; and
- Measuring noise volumes outside of patient rooms.
For example, San Francisco General Hospital has installed devices to measure sound at nursing stations. Baljeet Sangha -- chief experience officer at the hospital -- said patient satisfaction with nighttime noise doubled in some areas where the devices were installed.
Anish Mahajan -- director of system planning for Los Angeles County Health Services -- said some county hospitals have implemented new automated systems to curb wait times for specialists and reduce the time it takes for patients to receive information over the telephone (Richard, HealthyCal, 9/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.